Rep. Sewell Continues American Rescue Plan District Tour with Visit to the City of Bessemer
Bessemer, AL — Today, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) continued her American Rescue Plan District Tour with a stop at Bessemer City Hall to highlight the direct relief that the City of Bessemer and Bessemer City Schools will receive from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. Thanks to this historic legislation, the City of Bessemer will receive over $13.97 million in funding and Bessemer City Schools will receive over $15.91 million.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the systemic disinvestment that our communities have faced for too long,” said Rep. Sewell. “All throughout Alabama, local officials have been pleading for assistance and calling for direct financial support to weather the pandemic and build back better and stronger.”
“I want you to know that we heard your calls,” continued Sewell. “As the only member of the Alabama Congressional Delegation to vote in favor of the American Rescue Plan, I am so proud to announce that the City of Bessemer will receive $13.97 million and Bessemer City Schools will receive $15.91 million. This funding will help our community deal with the immediate impacts of the pandemic now and put us on a path to a more prosperous future.”
The American Rescue Plan, passed by Congress on March 10, 2021, and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, provides an historic $350 billion in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to help eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments meet their present needs and build the foundation for a strong recovery. Of this, the State of Alabama will receive approximately $2.12 billion and Alabama’s local governments will receive approximately $1.8 billion, $13,970,941 of which will go to the City of Bessemer.
According to guidance issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury on May 10, 2021, funds for state and local governments can be used to:
- Support public health expenditures, by funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, and certain public health and safety staff;
- Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries, and the public sector;
- Replace lost public sector revenue, using this funding to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic;
- Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have borne and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical infrastructure sectors; and,
- Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and to expand access to broadband internet.
The American Rescue Plan also provides an historic $122 billion in funding for K-12 public schools in the United States through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund to help schools safely reopen and stay open and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s students. Of this, approximately $2 billion will go to Alabama’s K-12 schools including $15,913,000 for Bessemer City Schools.
The American Rescue Plan will save lives and livelihoods:
- Put Vaccines in Arms: The plan has created a $20 billion national vaccination program that includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide and addressing disparities facing communities of color. It also takes complementary measures to combat the virus, including scaling up testing and tracing, addressing shortages of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies, investing in high-quality treatments and addressing health care disparities.
- Put Money in People’s Pockets: The plan finishes the job on the President’s promise to provide $2,000 in direct assistance to households across America with checks of $1,400 per person, following the $600 down payment enacted in December. The plan will also provide direct housing assistance, nutrition assistance for 40 million Americans, expand access to safe and reliable childcare and affordable health care, extend unemployment insurance so that 18 million American workers can pay their bills and support 27 million children with an expanded Child Tax Credit and more than 17 million low-wage workers through an improved Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Put Children Safely Back in School: The plan delivers $170 billion for education and $45 billion for child care providers. This includes a $130 billion investment in K-12 school re-opening and making up for lost time in the classroom, with funds that can be used for such things as reducing class sizes, modifying spaces so that students and teachers can socially distance, improving ventilation, implementing more mitigation measures, providing personal protective equipment and providing summer school or other support for students that help make up lost learning time this year. The plan also provides more than $40 billion for higher education.
- Put People Back In Jobs: The plan will provide crucial support for the hardest-hit small businesses, especially those owned by entrepreneurs from racial and ethnic backgrounds that have experienced systemic discrimination, with EIDL grants, expanded PPP eligibility and more. The plan also provides crucial resources to protect the jobs of first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers and other essential workers that all Americans depend on.
Background on the American Rescue Plan District Tour:
Rep. Sewell’s American Rescue Plan District Tour is a series of site visits, roundtable discussions, and constituency meetings to connect residents of Alabama’s 7th Congressional District with all the resources available in the American Rescue Plan. The tour began on Tuesday, March 23, 2021.
Photos from today’s visit to Bessemer can be found here.